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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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« babysitting | Main | cuz »

toronto zoo

So I'm working tomorrow and took yesterday off so I could go to the Toronto zoo with my niece Brittany, who turned three on Thursday. My mom- and dad-in-law were there as well as Brittany's parents and friend & daughter. For lunch, we went to one of the MacDonald's outlets in the zoo where we feasted on Happy Meals and a chocolate birthday cake that Larkin (Brittany's mom) had hidden in the bottom of the stroller. We had no plates, so instead dug into the cake en masse, armed with small wooden forks ordinarily used for french fries ("chips" to you UK-types :)). By the time we were done, the cake looked like a war zone.

I love going to the zoo with kids; opens up a whole new world for me. Everything is much more exciting...the colours seem brighter, the air fresher. I pay more attention to details, don't take things for granted. I also sometimes don't get to linger at exhibits, but that's a minor sacrifice compared to the benefits of having a child guide you through the zoo.

I also find it fascinating how having small children (and strollers) with you makes you see the layout of the zoo differently. Where are the public washrooms? Where are the ramps? :-)

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